Botswana has around 22 months to organise the 8th edition of the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under 20 games scheduled for December 2018.
This comes after Botswana was given the nod to host SADC countries at the last AUSC games held in Luanda, Angola. The minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng signed an agreement to host the AUSC Region 5 games on Tuesday this week.
The agreement will see Botswana making more strides in the quest to become an international sports hub. Addressing members of the press and AUSC officials in Gaborone, Olopeng said as a hosting country, Botswana will also assume the Chairmanship of the AUSC R5.
“I am happy to inform you that in December 2016, I received the AUSC R5 flag as acceptance of our preparedness to host the next edition of the games,” said Olopeng who was flanked by outgoing AUSC chairperson Dr Vetumbuavi Veii.
“As a precursor to these games we will in December 2017 hold the Botswana Games in Gaborone,” Olopeng said adding that Botswana has been participating in the games since the first edition held in Mozambique back in 2004.
Our performance at these games has been exceptional. In 2016, our athletes put up an even brilliant performance in Luanda, Angola. Moreover, Olopeng said government has already committed to fund the games. “This budget is not adequate to deliver games of the highest standard which is why we are appealing to the private sector to partner with government to deliver more meaningful and exceptional games.”
The minister said the Local Organising Committee for the games will be launched as soon as April 2017. “We also appeal to the media to support these games by profiling athletes and giving them maximum exposure”. Speaking at the same occasion the AUSC R5 regional chairperson Dr Veii said following the protocol agreement all parties involved will need to evolve into one well-oiled machine that works seriously to ensure a memorable games experience for athletes and spectators.
“We will request the indulgence of the honourable minister to ensure expedient establishment of the relevant organs and structures for the organisation and management of the games as early as reasonably possible,” Dr Veii said. “No doubt we have lost time already, but I am convinced that we can still work hard to reclaim the lost time.”
For his part, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Kago Ramokate said Botswana is committed to sports at a junior level. “This is a platform for kids in rural areas to come and shine. I want to assure you that we will host exceptional games. There is no doubt,” said Ramokate. During the last AUSC team Botswana which consisted of just over 80 athletes secured second place accumulating a total of 35 medals including 14 gold, 14 silver and seven bronze medals. Being the host next year, Botswana will have the opportunity to field more athletes. Meanwhile Botswana is expected to host the Netball Youth World Cup later this year. The country recently held the 2014 African Youth Africa games.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”